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Food & Dining // Heart-y Chef
Diana Helfand

Homemade Lau Lau Fit For A Prince

Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs (AHCC) is an advocate for improved welfare of Native Hawaiians in culture, health, economic development, education, social welfare and nationhood. AHCC is a community grassroots voice at the state Legislature on various topics discussed annually at an association-wide convention.

This tradition of civic engagement and support began in 1918, when the association was founded by Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalaniana’ole. Every March, the AHCC celebrates the birthday of their founder with a month-long festival in his honor.

Cedric Duarte, this year’s Prince Kuhio Festival chairman, is a member of Kali-hi-Palama Hawaiian Civic Club and a marketing consultant. His Hawaiian side of the family is from Makawao, Maui, and his great-grandfather served as a senator in the Territorial Legislature. His father was born in Honolulu, and Cedric grew up in Manoa and attended Kamehameha Schools.

He believes that participating as chairman for this year’s festival is a way to give back to the community. “I guess I’m reaching a place in my life where I want to spend more time doing some type of community service,” he says. “It has been particularly enriching for me to learn from individuals who have been a part of the civic club movement for many years who have been gracious enough to share their wisdom and experiences with me.”

Prince Kuhio Festival continues throughout March with a parade, more special events and an essay contest for Hawaii students. For more information, go to princekuhiofestival.org.

Here, Cedric graciously shares one of his favorite Hawaiian dishes with MidWeek readers.

Although taro is cultivated primarily for its roots, the leaves are completely edible and have a firm texture. Taro leaves must be cooked before eating, and have a subtle spinach-like flavor. They contain a good amount of vitamins A and C and also contain protein.

CHICKEN AND FISH LAU LAU

* 30 luau leaves
* 6 large ti leaves
* 6 boneless chicken thighs
* 1 1/2 pounds salmon, cut into 6 pieces
* Hawaiian salt, to taste
* coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil
* cooking twine

Wash luau and ti leaves removing stems and fibrous parts. Season both sides of chicken and fish with Hawaiian salt.

Drizzle coconut oil or olive oil on both sides.

Layer five luau leaves then place one piece each of chicken and salmon on luau.

Wrap to form a bundle. Place the bundle on the end of a ti leaf and wrap tightly. Tie with string.

Bring water to a boil in a steamer. Place lau lau in steamer. Steam lau lau 1 1/2 to 2 hours (check water level often).

Makes six servings.

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